The New Rules Of Dating, According To Research

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man and woman flirting Unai Huizi Photography / Shutterstock

Flirting has come a long way.

If you pick up a copy of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice or even have a chat with your grandma about the way things were when she was dating, you'll find that the way we define flirting now is completely different than the way any generation has ever flirted before. Thanks, technology!

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Match released its Singles in America survey and, as usual, thanks to analysis from Dr. Helen Fisher, the results are some pretty interesting insight into the world of singles and exactly how they're communicating and reacting with each other.


Here are the new rules of dating, according to science:

Of the 5600 participants in the survey, 50 percent of singles think that having coffee together is a date. I guess that whole dating to get a free meal thing has gone by the boards, and now those looking to score a filet mignon free of charge will have to eat before their big coffee date. Tragic.


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When it comes to keeping tabs on someone, we all know that Facebook, as well as other social media platforms, are the place to do it, and singles are taking this route even in the early stages, with 51 percent of singles admitting to looking up a new date on Facebook. Since this is the case, it's the perfect time to take down any unflattering photos or drunken statuses.

We already know that texting is this generation's favorite way to communicate, but singles are taking it to the next level by getting their faces in there, too. Thirty percent of singles prefer to communicate via Skype or FaceTime, as opposed to just texts and emails riddled with emojis and sexual innuendos. Not that that isn't fun!

But speaking of sex, because what’s the point of being single if you're not sexin' it up every chance you get with a hot new partner? The survey found that, despite the frequency at which celebrities’ phones get hacked and all the revenge porn on the Internet, 35 percent of people have sent someone a "sexy" photo.


Of course, "sexy" is subjective, but either way, there's some pretty big trust there if you're hooking up the person you're dating with a photo that could end up somewhere you don't want.

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Both men and women, at 48 percent and 40 percent, respectively, have sent a sexually explicit message to someone, although again, I think this might be a bit subjective. I can't imagine the dirty texts I send to my partner about all the things I'm going to do to him while I eat pizza are going to get anyone else off—or is it?!

We certainly have more than a few options to court one another with all these gadgets (yes, I wrote "gadgets" like your grandma would), and based on this survey, we're taking advantage of them. Good! Because it would suck if all the work of Robert E. Kahn, Vint Cerf, Friedhelm Hillebrand, and Steve Jobs went to waste. Those would be the gentlemen you can thank for the Internet, text messages and FaceTime. Thanks, guys!


In addition to redefining courtship, Dr. Helen Fisher also discovered the "Clooney effect" among today's single men. She made an appearance on CBS to explain that men want women who make more money, are better educated and are more intellectual. 

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Amanda Chatel is a writer who divides her time between NYC and Paris. She's a regular contributor to Bustle and Glamour, with bylines at Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Livingly, Mic, The Bolde, Huffington Post, and others.